Integrity and knowledge
In her attack on Dr. M. Reza Behnam, Erica Lyon (Letters, August 10) uses the same specious arguments that one reads daily in news reports and opinion pieces about Israel.
First, the canard that Israel is the “only functioning democracy in the Middle East.” Israel holds millions of Palestinian virtual prisoners in the West Bank and Gaza without the right to vote in its elections, so it is a democracy that only works for its European settlers.
Second, Israel’s “right to exist”. No other nation asserts the right to exist and when Israel uses this term it means that it demands the right to be a Jewish state where non-Jews are treated as second-class citizens.
Virtually all news reports and opinion pieces on Israel and Palestine are told from a pro-Zionist perspective, so anyone who wants a nuanced view of the situation should read articles like Dr. Behnam’s to counterbalance the pro-Zionist propaganda. Israeli.
I commend The Register-Guard for publishing Dr. Behnam’s work and applaud his courageous voice on behalf of freedom and justice for the Palestinian people. Eugene is lucky to have someone of his integrity and knowledge.
Charles Dunaway, Portland
Moral authority is high
Erica Lyon (Letters, August 10) questions the moral authority of Mr. Reza Benham. In fact, his moral authority is high, because he writes from his area of expertise, holding a doctorate in Middle Eastern studies, and because he writes from facts rather than from what our government would have us believe.
Ms. Lyon wonders why people sometimes ask whether Israel has the right to exist, and the same question is not asked about Palestine. This is because it was Israel that invaded Palestine in 1948, not the other way around, and because of Israel’s brutal repression of the Palestinian people.
I am grateful that The RG continues to publish the writings of Mr. Reza Benham.
Margaret Brye, Eugene
Much noise about the Lower Snake River dams
I would like to commend the City Club of Eugene for hosting the panel which presented all aspects of the discussion on the removal of the four Lower Snake River dams. Panelists included Shannon Wheeler of the Nez Perce Tribe, Todd True of Earthjustice, Nancy Hirsch of NWRAP and Kurt Miller of NW RiverPartners.
Of all the panelists, Miller made several provocative claims:
1. LSRDs are chargeable and only require maintenance. Indeed, the four old dams will need new turbines.
2. A highly scientific report was politically motivated. Fact: The highly respected National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released a report based on 20-year fish data that all four LSRDs must be removed immediately to prevent the total extinction of salmonids in the Lower Snake.
3. If hydropower is removed, billions of dollars in costs will be passed on to ratepayers. Hydropower is considered an important component of any renewable energy portfolio along with wind and solar power. Several renewable energy entities are poised to pick up the slack by only removing inefficient dams. The Nez Percé have developed a mini-grid with a capacity of 500 MW via a Tesla Power Wall.
No one is advocating the removal of hydroelectricity.
Su Libby, Eugene
Canceling natural gas, a bad blow for residences
According to a recent Good Company report, Eugene residences contribute approximately 11% of Eugene’s total carbon emissions, with transportation contributing 53%. Yet there is a marked push to eliminate natural gas for residents as an option for heating, cooling and cooking. While taking steps to decarbonize emissions is a laudable goal for future generations, the near-term drive to eliminate natural gas as an option for residential homes seems disproportionate.
In 2016, Eugene experienced the worst ice storm on record. More than 14,000 homes were without power for days or even weeks. Our house had no power for six days when nearby power lines gave way under the weight of the ice. Our gas insert and a gas stove allowed us to stay in our house instead of moving to a hotel or storm center. Additionally, the Holiday Farm fire in 2020 destroyed over 700 buildings and left entire communities without electricity or power for weeks. Retaining energy options for residences in the short term, given that 74% of Eugene’s emissions come from transportation, industrial and commercial sources, would seem a prudent option.
Paul Hoobyar, Eugene
When imperfect people make mistakes.
Jerry Weise was a great letter (Letters, August 3) about the police putting their lives on the line so you can have a good life.
We have to admit that no matter how hard we try, we will make mistakes unintentionally. That’s why doctors have insurance, to protect us from unintentional mistakes. It is time that the police also benefit from the same protections.
When you go to work as a plumber, what is the only possible mistake you could make during your plumbing hours? Plumbing errors.
Look at the whole person. When you do, you’ll say, “Yeah, I wouldn’t have wanted to go to jail for years through an innocent mistake.
We are imperfect people and we must be judged by our totality. We everything need that.
Bill Northrup, Eugene
Other Supreme Court Decisions
The Supreme Court just ruled that the state of Oklahoma, not the native tribes in the state, should have jurisdiction over cases currently being handled by the tribes themselves.
This decision reverses what the Supreme Court decided in March 1832 when some southern states sought to expel Indian tribes from their state for the economic benefit of the state.
However, then-President Andrew Jackson undermined this decision by stating that the Supreme Court’s decision must be enforced by the Supreme Court. As the high court had no means of enforcement, the states proceeded with the eviction, resulting in the shameful Trail of Tears.
I haven’t seen any discussion of this case in The RG, despite having covered a number of other Supreme Court decisions, i.e. the overturning of Roe v. Wade. NPR has spent a lot of time on the issue of the rights of the state versus the sovereign rights of tribes.
It appears that the Supreme Court’s decision in this case is unconstitutional because it is inconsistent with the 1832 decision. The previous decision was based on the recognition that tribes are sovereign entities and therefore states- United cannot act against tribal interests.
Dennis Shine, Eugene
words on paper
What is the Constitution or Bill of Rights?
It is said that “we hold these truths to be self-evident”.
But what if in America today, they are no longer?
And if those words we claim to cherish were ignored or scorned,
Or corrupted for selfish purposes?
What if a lot of Americans didn’t care anymore?
What if fear, hatred and violence had replaced the ideals of “We the people”?
Well, then we, as an autonomous experiment in democracy, will come to an end.
Well, these are just “words on paper”.
What if no one reads this?
Well, these are just “words on paper”.
Casey Bright, Ashland